4ATX Foundation, Netspend Hiring First-Generation College Students For Third Consecutive Year; 2023 Applications Now Open


Since 2021, the Club's nonprofit arm, 4ATX Foundation, and Austin FC Founding Partner, Netspend, have partnered to provide a year-long paid fellowship for two first-generation college students. During the fellowship, students gain real world, day-to-day business experience, create and execute community engagement projects, and receive ongoing mentorship from Netspend, as well as a $7,500 scholarship. 

"At Netspend, we believe that education and professional development play a vital role in the success of individuals," said Netspend President, Kelley C. Knutson. "We were honored to partner with Austin FC and 4ATX Foundation again this year to provide two scholarships and hands-on working opportunities for first-generation college students to help them grow professionally and hone their skills."

This year’s recipients, Marc Paz and Penueli Kihundu, joined the Foundation as fellows, and each received a scholarship and mentoring.

“It is important to provide opportunities for young people to build their skills and grow their professional network, “said 4ATX Foundation Executive Director Kaitlin Mauro."We are so grateful to Netspend for their commitment to education and support in making the Verde Fellowship possible for students like Marc and Penueli."

Paz, originally from Brownsville, Texas, is a senior at St. Edward’s University where he is majoring in Kinesiology. His love for sports started in high school when he realized that his ambitions within the industry extended beyond the playing field. 

“Being a Verde Fellow has been an amazing experience,” said Paz. “I have been able to learn so much from everyone which has encouraged me to stay on my career path in the sports industry.” 

Kihundu is a freshman at Huston-Tillotson University, and a member of both the men’s soccer team and the Verde Fellowship program. Penueli and his family fled the Democratic Republic of Congo four years ago and found a welcoming community in 4ATX Foundation’s Verde Leaders high school program, in which he soon became a pillar. In the future, Penueli would like to become an entrepreneur and start his own business. 

“I want to be an example for other kids that come from a family like mine and tell them to believe in themselves and set big goals," said Kihundu.

Applications are now open for the 2023-2024 Verde Fellowship and will close on March 10th.